North America faces unique challenges in implementing health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs), no less because two high-income countries in the region (United States and Canada) themselves have only partially met the health-related SDG targets. Through research and outreach, think tanks and academic institutions (TTAIs) in the region have played a key role in placing the post-2015 framework in place, but they have paid relatively less attention to implementation issues at home. They can be mobilized to play a greater role in the implementation process, including setting priorities, identifying core obligations, generating action plans, and leveraging the strength of the private sector. More efforts should be made to overcome the funding and capacity constraints faced by TTAIs in the region while facilitating their access to SDG-related decision making.
Yanzhong Huang is professor of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, where he is also the director of the Center for Global Health Studies. He is also a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and founding editor of Global Health Governance